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VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR PUPPY!!!
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THIS FOOD IS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS RAW AND KIBBLE!!!
The first thing to keep in mind is that there is no right or wrong answer to the question which food is best. There are many opinions on how to feed our pets, from grocery store kibble to the all-natural Bones and Raw Food diet. If you would like to start the Raw food diet on your dogs their is a pre made raw food available at most pet stores (http://www.naturesvariety.com) They also make a very good hard food Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about starting your dog on this diet!!
"Unnatural diets predispose animals to unnatural outcomes"
Dr. Tom Lonsdale
For most people, the answer lies somewhere in between.
You have to determine what your priorities are. Do you require chemical-free food? One without byproducts? One without corn? Do you need to be able to purchase it at a certain location? Is price the primary factor to be considered? Does your pet have allergies? With commercial pet foods, in most cases you truly do get what you pay for. The high-quality foods that use premium, human-grade or organic ingredients do cost a little more, but you are undoubtedly getting a healthier product. By feeding a high-quality diet, you can head off many health problems, giving your pet a longer life and saving yourself money in the long run.
According to Whole Dog Journal, a leading source of information regarding natural canine health (and this would apply to cats and their food as well), quality foods should contain superior sources of protein, either whole fresh meats or single source meat meal (ex. chicken meal rather than poultry meal, which is vague), as one of the first two ingredients, also whole and unprocessed grains, vegetables, and fruits. Nutrients and enzymes are more likely to be found in unprocessed foods.
Quality foods should contain a minimum of food fragments. Food fragments are lower-cost by-products of another food manufacturing process, such as brewers rice or wheat bran. Most manufacturers, even those of super-premium diets, usually include at least one food fragment to help lower costs. Avoid any food that contains several fragments. Â Another ingredient to be avoided is meat by-products. They are not handled as carefully as whole meat, and are likely to contain contaminants and meat from undesirable sources. Any food that contains a by-product as one of its major protein sources should be considered an inferior quality food.
High quality foods should not contain fats or proteins named generically, such as animal fat or poultry meal. Instead look for specific things like chicken fat or lamb meal. There should be no artificial preservatives (examples: Â BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin), artificial colors, sweeteners (examples: corn syrup, sucrose, ammoniated glycyrrhizin), or propylene glycol (a potentially toxic substance sometimes added to chewy foods to keep them moist).
Another factor to consider is your dog individual needs. Many dogs develop food allergies, which can be noted by red, itchy skin, chronic ear infections, or a tendency to lick the legs or paws. One of the most common food allergens is corn, yet the majority of grocery store pet foods consist mainly of corn. Some dogs are also sensitive to wheat. A lamb and brown rice food, or a food that uses unusual proteins (examples: Â duck, venison, rabbit) and grains (examples: oatmeal, barley, quinoa) are suggested. A food that can show an organic, hormone-free, preservative-free meat source is highly desirable. When reading labels, beware of splitting or batching. food label may list a great meat source as its top ingredient, but then the next three or even more ingredients are low-quality grain sources, divided into their components so they can be shown in lesser quantities than the meat. An example would be rice gluten, brewer rice and rice flour. Â
If you add up the collective weight of all these rice fragments, they amount to more than the meat ingredient listed ahead of them, making it the primary ingredient.
Prescription diets, sold by your veterinarian, are in a different category of foods altogether. These foods are produced with very specific ingredients and nutritional makeups to treat particular medical conditions. If your veterinarian puts your pet on a prescription diet, there are definite reasons for that. It might be possible to locate a super-premium diet that will meet those needs, or you may choose to feed a home-made diet. Â Ask your veterinarian for recommendations and guidelines if you want to try alternatives.
The accompanying list is some recommended super-premium foods.
It is by no means every high quality food available, and the market is changing and growing at a phenomenal rate. Use this list to look at ingredients found in high quality foods, to go to the manufacturer websites to learn more, and to track down local availability of products you are interested in. Don't overlook online or phone ordering as an option! Many of these manufacturers make the food fresh and will ship right to your door. Spend some time reading food labels, evaluate your personal needs and priorities in a pet food, and make the decision that is best for you and your pet.
WORKING RAW FOOD INTO YOUR PETS LIFE
Raw food purists will insist that the only â€œrightâ€? way to feed your pet a natural, raw diet is to buy organic meat and bones, grind them, mix them with the proper raw fruits, vegetables and other foods, add any necessary supplements, and store the mixture in the freezer you bought especially for this purpose. ÂThe reality is that most people don't have the time, budget, or (lets face it) the motivation to turn feeding their pets into a full-time job. Â However, feeding your pet a raw diet does not have to be an â€œall or nothingâ€? choice. Â There are many ways to integrate raw food without over-extending your time or finances. Â Adding raw, healthy food is beneficial in any quantity, whether it is every meal, a few meals a week, or adding it as a â€œtopperâ€? to the food you normally feed. Â Consider some of the options outlined below, discuss your petâ€™s specific needs with your veterinarian, and you can find a way to improve your petâ€™s diet and overall wellness.Â
In a perfect world, we would all have unlimited time and money to feed our pets naturally. Â But commercially-produced dry and canned foods are so convenient that it can be difficult for many pet owners to give them up. Â No processed food is as beneficial as a raw diet, so it is important to choose the best quality food that you can find and afford. Â We also have information on the reasons and general guidelines for feeding raw, recipes for supplements to use with your commercial foods and entire meals you can cook at home. Â Though raw foods are much more nutritious, some owners simply canâ€™t get comfortable feeding an uncooked diet, so this offers them another way to feed a variety of natural, unprocessed foods to supplement their petsâ€™ diets.Â
Perhaps the easiest and most economical option to introduce â€œliveâ€? food is to give raw chicken (or turkey) parts for your petâ€™s meal once or twice a week. Â Yes, this includes the bones! Â Cooked bones are prone to splinter and cause digestive problems, but raw bones are a wonderful part of the natural diet. Â Dogs can have backs, necks, wings, thighs, drumsticks, or whatever is on special at your local grocery store. Â Cats are usually better off with the wings or the small â€œdrummies.â€? Â Bones provide calcium, as well as being great for their teeth. Â A â€œraw meaty boneâ€? such as beef knuckles, shanks or soup bones, can be given to dogs once or twice a week as a nutrition source and a highly effective method of home dental care. Â Similarly, a raw egg can be added to the food, and donâ€™t be afraid to include some of the shell, which is rich in calcium. Â For those uncomfortable with raw eggs, cook it if you must, but remember raw is better! Â Plain live culture yogurt and cottage cheese are other â€œeasy to addâ€? foods. Â
Since commercial diets are partly sterilized due to the cooking process, all pets eating these foods would benefit from the addition of an essential fatty acid supplement and a whole food supplement, as well as probiotics and digestive enzymes. Supplements such as Missing Link also help reintroduce some of the nutrition lost in processed foods.
Due to the rising demand for natural raw pet food, there are a number of high-quality, pre-made diets available. You get all the benefits of great ingredients, mixed in the correct proportions, and all you have to do is thaw it out and serve it to your very happy pet. Some brands of pre-made food include Dr. Billinghursts original Biologically Appropriate Raw Food , Grandads, Three Cheers Raw Raw Raw, Natures Variety, and Steves Real Food. Check with your veterinarian or pet supply store to see whats available in your area. Many companies also have websites and will ship directly to your home. At first glance, these foods might seem prohibitively expensive for many pet owners. But remember, you do not necessarily have to feed the raw diets exclusively if your budget or lifestyle doesnt support it. Any live food you can work into your pets diet is better than none at all! Â Whether you feed raw 100% of the time, 50%, just a meal or two a week, or simply put a bit of a pre-made raw diet on top of your pets kibble, that is nutrition he or she would not have had otherwise!
There are a multitude of websites, newsgroups and books on feeding a homemade raw diet, if you are willing to take the plunge into that feeding plan. A general guideline for ratios in preparing a raw diet for your dog is 80% meat (including bones), 10% offal or organ meat (such as liver, kidneys, tripe), 10% other healthy meats, eggs or foods. This is not rocket science and you don't have to compare and measure percentages every time you prepare a batch of food. Â One of the very best things about a raw diet is the variety. Some days might include few, if any, vegetables, with or without egg. At times you might use beef, then chicken or turkey, and if there are hunters in your family you might have venison or other game animal meat available. By varying the meats, vegetables and other foods you offer, you are giving your pet a richer, more beneficial range of nutrition. Â Cats, being true carnivores, would enjoy a similar diet, but with a bigger emphasis on the protein sources, and would also do well with a taurine supplement.
Take the time to consider the positive impact of a raw diet (or elements of a raw diet) for your pet. Feeding exclusively commercial pet food could be compared to a human surviving on a diet of only Ramen noodles or boxed macaroni and cheese. The person probably wouldn't die, but how healthy would they be? Â If you can come up with a plan to integrate wholesome raw foods into your pets diet, you will have a happier, healthier pet, with great teeth and coat, elimination (or a significant reduction) of allergies, skin condition, ear infections, and digestive problems, fewer visits to the vets office, and a much improved - and longer - overall quality of life! Â
Puppies being house trained need to be on a feeding schedule, to help you anticipate their elimination schedule (as it is up to you to get them to the "potty area" BEFORE they have to go! Feed moistened puppy food no less than 3 times a day, as much as can be eaten in 20-30 minutes. Give more if they finish the bowl, as this is a moving target for a growing pup. Puppies should be scheduled, but not "rationed" - in other words, they can have as much as they can eat, 3 times a day. At first, you may want to schedule water also to 3 times a day for the first week, as you begin house training.Â
You can leave dry kibble down 24/7, once your puppy is getting house trained. Or, if you prefer, you may go to 2 times a day feeding once the pup is 5 months old. We do not recommend once a day feeding for deep chested breeds, like Boxers, as they are prone to "bloat" or "torsion" (the overly full stomach flips over, causing loss of circulation to the stomach, a life-threatening condition).
Puppies distracted and experiencing "sensory overload" in their new surroundings often forget to eat & drink.
If your puppy has "lost its appetite", try cooking up some hamburger (or canned dogfood) & mix it in with the moistened puppy food, about 1/4 hamburger to 3/4 puppy food.
Puppies that are not drinking enough can be enticed by adding cream (not milk, as it gives them diarrhea) to their drinking water, about 1/4 cream to 3/4 water.
Hamburger also helps control diarrhea, which can be brought on by the excitement of going to a new home. For controlling diarrhea, give one meal of cooked hamburger. Then mix 1/4 puppy food into the next three meals of hamburger. Then 1/2 hamburger, 1/2 puppy food for the next three meals. Then 1/4 hamburger, 3/4 puppy food the next three meals. Finally, dropping the hamburger altogether. At any point, if the diarrhea is not under control, return to a higher amount of hamburger & make an appointment with your vet for a workup (and give us a call, if you bought the pup from us).
We get alot of questions regarding the "Bones and Raw Food Diet" (also know as B.A.R.F). We have used it in the past and can highly recommend the diet. It is time consuming, but is worth it, if you have the time. It is especially helpful for "allergic" dogs, as there are so many chemical additives in any pre-packaged dog food on the shelf, it is difficult to resolve allergies using store-bought foods. Check out the links below: